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There comes a time in your career, if you are lucky, when you only need one of your names. For most, they are famous enough to be known by their surname (Sinatra, Manilow), but for some, their success leads to them being simply known as Elton. Or Bette. Or, perhaps the most famous of all, Liza.
Liza Minnelli's first solo run on Broadway was at the Winter Gardens in 1974, in a show simply entitled Liza. It was a month's sellout success, and led to CBS recording the evening on an LP entitled Liza Minnelli Live at The Winter Garden, which was only available for a short time, due to contractual problems over the inclusion of a medley from the 1973 film Cabaret. Now, for the first time, we can all hear it as it was meant to be heard, thanks to Masterwork's release of the concert (along with 3 bonus live tracks). This will be available from masterworksbroadway.com as a digital download and CD on 03 April 2012 and through retail outlets from 08 May 2012.
The concert was staged by the legendary Bob Fosse, and with musical supervision by the maestro Marvin Hamlisch, it must have been a night to remember. The recording we are left with (one can only dream of a DVD...) is superb.
This was a 27-year old Liza at her peak, with a great selection of music. From the moment the 'Overture' kicks in, you know you are in for a treat. Hearing Cabaret just a year after the film was made is a real treat - it's interesting to hear it so fresh sounding. The overall production on the album is first rate - it could have been recorded yesterday. It's hard to pick a favourite - the programme flows so well, that you are at the end before you know it (even though you get a generous 17 tracks). But, Liza going back to her Broadway routes with 'Quiet Thing' from Flora The Red Menace is the high spot to me. I listened to it three times - unknown for me.
I cannot recommend this recording enough - go buy ! Now !